Social distancing effective way to reduce spread of COVID-19, says Turkish doctor. PHOTO: ANADOLU AGENCY

'One coronavirus patient can infect up to 400'

Social distancing effective way to reduce spread of COVID-19, says Turkish doctor

Anadolu Agency April 14, 2020
ANKARA: A coronavirus patient who does not follow social distancing can infect up to 400 people, a Turkish professor said on Tuesday.

He quoted a recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, saying therefore lockdown rules must be adhered to.

“This is exponential [...] we should not forget that COVID-19 is not a disease that will only affect you," Professor Hasan Ozkan, who heads the Department of Gastroenterology at Ankara University, told Anadolu Agency.

"It is important to maintain social distancing during the outbreak, which could reduce the spread of the virus."

Stressing that two patients in China, who recovered from COVID-19, contracted the virus again, Ozkan said the possibility of reinfection was there.

He said there were no protective antibodies in the blood of 30 out of 100 patients tested two weeks after their recovery.

“This makes us think that 30% of those who recover do not develop immunity, and could be infected again."

According to the World Health Organisation, most people infected with the virus experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.

However, older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

At this time, there are no specific vaccines for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.

Nearly two million COVID-19 cases have been reported in 185 countries and regions since last December, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 120,400 people, meanwhile, have died.